Talking to your doctor is the first step in managing your incontinence. But some people feel too embarrassed to mention their incontinence to their doctor. Here are a few tips on how to overcome embarrassment and get the most out of your doctor's visit.
Why it's worth it
Incontinence can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss with your doctor, but here are a few good reasons why it's worth it:
- Incontinence is usually manageable. It's not something you have to put up with! Talking to your doctor is the key to finding out what's causing your incontinence and how to treat it. To learn more about available treatments, visit the Incontinence Channel.
- Incontinence may be caused by a medical problem. If this is the case, getting help from a doctor can help you not only manage your incontinence, but also detect and treat the medical condition that's causing it.
- Hiding the problem can take a toll on your emotions and your health. You may miss out on social activities, draw away from friends and family, and stop doing the things you enjoy. Hiding incontinence can also increase the risk of skin rashes or infections, and bladder infections.
Finding it hard to speak to your doctor about incontinence? To get the conversation started, fill out the urinary incontinence assessment and print the results to bring to your appointment. This will not only raise the topic but also give your doctor useful information about your symptoms and how they are affecting your life. Remember that your doctor is there to help. By starting the discussion, you're on the road to finding a way to manage your incontinence.
Questions to ask your doctor
Before you visit your doctor, make a note of your concerns and the questions you'd like to ask. Here are a few ideas to get you started. You may wish to print this list and bring it with you to your appointment:
- What kind of incontinence do I have?
- What is causing my incontinence? Could it be related to my medical conditions, medications, or diet and fluid intake?
- Should I make any changes to my lifestyle, including the fluids I drink (such as alcohol and caffeine), how much fluid I drink, and when I drink it?
- What treatments are available and which ones do you recommend, and why?
- What benefits can I expect to see from your recommended treatments?
- What are the risks of each of your recommended treatments?
- What kind of absorbent product should I use?
By talking to your doctor about incontinence, you've taken a very important step towards finding a way to manage your incontinence that works for you!